DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – Dorchester County EMS launched a new program earlier this year designed to not only train people for the job but to help those who may have no experience in the EMS business prepare for the industry.

“We have a recruit program that we basically took five employees, five new employees that had no training no experience in emergency medical services, and we have taught them the emergency medical technician program, explained Brian Watts, Director of Dorchester County EMS.

The county worked with Trident Technical College in this partnership.

“We provided the instructors; they provided the classroom space. And we were able to partner with them for this class. So what has happened is our employees have been able to learn the things that they need to learn to be good EMTs, as well as learning how to be a Dorchester County employee. They spent four days a week on practical training and then they spent one day a week on the ambulance and clinical training,” said Watts.

The first class, which began the program at the end of May, will complete the first class on Friday.

Watts said there are only two prerequisites for the training. “They need a high school diploma, and they need a valid driver’s license. Beyond that, we teach them everything they need to know,” he said.

If anyone is interested in the program, Watts said they need to keep checking the Dorchester County EMS website, as they will start another class soon. The training is helping them fill a big need.

“Nationwide, there is a shortage of EMTs and paramedics. We have to always be thinking outside the box about how we can better serve the needs of our citizens and visitors,” he said.

Officials said they’re expecting to hire some more people for another round of classes by the beginning of the year.